Alan Thicke, actor, television show host and occasional TV theme song composer, has died at age 69.
TMZ reports that Thicke suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19 year old son. The actor was taken to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center where he passed away.
Thicke was best known for playing Jason Seaver, iconic TV dad, in the beloved ‘80s sitcom Growing Pains, which was part of the resurgence of family sitcoms of that era. Deadline reports that Thicke’s role as Jason ushered in a new kind of family dynamics previously unseen in network sitcoms. Jason Seaver was a stay at home dad and practicing psychiatrist who worked from home, allowing his wife Joanna to go back to work. The show also featured a young Leonardo DiCaprio and a pre-evangelical Kirk Cameron and was a crucial part of ABC’s family-friendly lineup.
Thicke was born in Ontario, Canada in 1947. Prior to his career in American television, the actor hosted a variety of shows in his native Canada, including a game show called First Impressions and his very own talk show, The Alan Thicke Show. He was also an accomplished songwriter and composer of television theme songs. Along with his first wife Gloria Loring, Thicke wrote the themes for two very memorable sitcoms: Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
The actor most recently appeared in guest spots on This is Us and Fuller House. He is survived by his sons Robin of “Blurred Lines” fame, Brennan and Carter, as well as his wife Tanya.